© 2018

Constructions of the Irish Child in the Independence Period, 1910-1940

  • Ciara Boylan
  • Ciara Gallagher

Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Ciara Gallagher, Ciara Boylan
    Pages 1-22
  3. Education and Learning

  4. Literature and Language

  5. Material Culture and Organised Activity

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 307-317

About this book


This volume explores how Irish children were ‘constructed’ by various actors including the state, youth organisations, authors and publishers in the period before and after Ireland gained independence in 1922. It examines the broad variety of ways in which the Irish child was constructed through social and cultural activities like education, sport, youth organizations, and cultural production such as literature, toys, and clothes, covering themes ranging from gender, religion and social class, to the broader politics of identity, citizenship, and nation-building. A variety of ideals and ideologies, some of them conflicting, competed to inform how children were constructed by the adults who looked on them as embodying the future of the nation. Contributors ask fundamental questions about how children were constructed as part of the idealisation of the state before its formation, and the consolidation of the state after its foundation. 


Political independence Nationalism Irish State 'Decade of centenaries' Childhood

Editors and affiliations

  • Ciara Boylan
    • 1
  • Ciara Gallagher
    • 2
  1. 1.GalwayIreland
  2. 2.MaynoothIreland

About the editors

Ciara Boylan is Researcher at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research interests and publications cover the history and sociology of education, publishing for children, and educational policy and practice. 

Ciara Gallagher is an independent scholar and previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the National Collection of Children’s Books project in Ireland. Her research interests include colonial and postcolonial children’s literature, Irish children’s literature, and contemporary Indian children’s literature.  

Bibliographic information